Coronavirus threat: IMF to give Pakistan $1.4bn next week

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide $1.4 billion to Pakistan next week, to get some budgetary support in the wake of the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government had last month, requested the IMF to consider giving it “a low-cost, fast-disbursing loan under the fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to deal with the adverse economic impact of COVID-19”.

“We have been working with the Pakistani authorities since the request was placed … This $1.4 billion disbursement is scheduled to happen next week,” Teresa Daban Sanchez, the IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan said in her statement.

Last month, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva had said the Fund’s team is working expeditiously to respond to Pakistan’s request for disbursement of an emergency loan to help it fight coronavirus.

She had said the Government of Pakistan requested financial assistance under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to contain the spread of the virus and provide financial support to affected families and businesses, according to a statement.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced a Rs1.2-trillion economic relief package as the number of confirmed cases sharply rose in the country. The package was subsequently accorded approval by the cabinet on March 31.

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